Preparing for an operation

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Our doctors perform so many different operations that you may not find out everything you want to know here. Don’t worry, though, because once you’re in hospital your doctors and nurses will be able to answer all of your questions. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen.

Sammy pic

The story of SAMMY’S HEART OPERATION (British Heart Foundation) will also give you a good idea about the kinds of people you might meet during your visit to our hospital. You can download it here by clicking on the image.


Sammy’s heart operation is a resource for 7 – 11s who are having heart surgery. Designed to be used with a play specialist in a therapy session or at home with the family, the book tells the story of Sammy and his experience from pre op to after surgery. The book helps the reader understand the people they will meet in hospital, the tests they will have, what will happen on the wards and when they can go home.



Just in case you’re curious we have prepared a list of some of the things that might happen as you are preparing for theatre.

YOU MIGHT HAVE AN ANAESTHETIC 

An anaesthetic is a special medication given to you either by an injection or by breathing it in through a small mask that you wear over your nose and mouth. Once you have been given this special medication, you’ll either be completely relaxed or fast asleep during your operation so you won’t feel any pain at all.

There are two types of anaesthetic that we use for children having operations. They are:

General Anaesthetic: A general anaesthetic is when you are given a medicine that will put you fast asleep. When you are under general anaesthetic you won’t feel a thing. You may not even remember what has happened when you wake up.

Local Anaesthetic: A local anaesthetic is when you are still awake during your operation but you won’t feel any pain. The medicine will numb all of your pain sensations so the only thing you’ll feel is a little bit of pressure or movement.

Your anaesthetic will be given to you by a doctor called an Anaesthetist. An anaesthetist is a special doctor because they are experts in giving anaesthetics to children for their operations. Your anaesthetist will stay with you all the time that you are asleep or numbed. 

They will be there to make sure you are ok and they’ll be keeping an eye on things like your breathing, your pulse, your blood pressure, and your temperature.

Most of all, though, they’ll be making sure you are comfortable, relaxed, and feeling no pain during your whole operation.

YOU MAY BE ASKED TO FAST

Fasting is an important part of preparing for many operations especially if you are going to have an anaesthetic. Fasting will help to make sure you don’t feel sick and vomit while you are asleep during your treatment. A member of your medical team will tell you before any procedure whether you need to fast and, if so, for how long.